Peter Ruis, the new leader of John Lewis, has vowed to make the retailer special again as he embarks on a programme to rekindle shoppers’ love affair with the famous department store business. 

Ruis, who returned to John Lewis last month as executive director after more than a decade elsewhere and on whom revival hopes now rest, made the pledge in an email to customers this morning in which he vowed to re-establish the retailer’s credentials in value, quality and service.

Ruis wrote: “At the end of my third week leading John Lewis, I’m writing to thank you on behalf of the whole team for your continued loyalty.”

He said it was a privilege to lead the business, which alongside grocery stablemate Waitrose is the bedrock of the John Lewis Partnership.

The business was seen as an exemplar of the benefits of mutual ownership until being knocked sideways in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic as chair Dame Sharon White’s turnaround programme faced increasing scepticism.

Ruis said: “Returning to the UK’s favourite department store is an extraordinary privilege. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to make the trusted quality, service, style and value you expect from John Lewis even more special.

“Above everything, at John Lewis, we’re focused on what’s important to our customers. We’ve always prided ourselves on offering a unique combination of warm expert service from our partners, coupled with unwavering quality.”

Ruis contacted shoppers as John Lewis unveiled its new-season ranges, offering recipients £5 off a £50 spend over this weekend.

John Lewis is thought to be considering thousands of job cuts over the next few years, but White told staff this week that the Partnership is expected to return to profitability this year.